Ghana

Volunteer BaseCamp

This is a for-profit company that pretends to be an NGO. Their program fee is double what it should be, and they don't even pay their local staff on time. I could have had the exact same volunteer placement for half the price, provided by a local organization, http://www.lightforchildren.com/. My host family was wonderful, but they also work for Light for Children. Don't go with Basecamp... go with Light for Children.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Aug 3, 2010
Overall:
4
Support:
7
Value:
1

Comments

Hi there, BaseCamp International Centers are a chain of hostels and language schools that provide the support services for the Volunteer Abroad program. The Volunteer Abroad Program is a program of the Canadian University Travel Service (Travel CUTS). For over 35 years Travel CUTS was wholly owned and operated by the Canadian Federation of Students. This is a not-for-profit organization that is comprised of almost every student government in Canada. BaseCamp simply provides training, accommodation and support on the ground. Your comments seem odd given that we are a hostel and a language school. Of course we are a for-profit. Just like most other hostels in the world.... If you have any questions please just give us a call. Our number is 613-541-7862 (866-646-4693 from North America).
I completely agree with you. BaseCamp overcharges for their 'hostel and food' charge. They are bs. I would NOT recommend going with them. Their employees told me their pay and it is shit. They don't even do sustainable change. Don't volunteer with them - I don't recommend it. I had a crappy experience with them and feel that I lost my money.
I´ve been working at BaseCamp for almost 4 years and the feedback you are providing as Anonymous and Stacy are not correct. During all this time I have been supported by the organization and they have helped me to grow as a person and employee. We all as staff have very good communication, we have regular training and motivation meetings and we receive incentives very often as a result of our work. Our payment is always on time and sometimes we receive it in advance and our wages are always over the minimum wage required by each country. You can also check out program fees and they are the most affordable as a result of not including the costs of maintaining a retail partner that we do not have. Volunteer can contact us directly and we will provide the support needed from the pre-departure to the country where we run our programs. People can check what we have done over the last 17 years of running a volunteer programs through the testimonials, photos and videos we have at our social media pages and it also allows future volunteers to interact with past participants and ask about their experiences.

Global Crossroad

Richard and Franklin were wonderful. I always felt very comfortable and safe. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I would love to go back, it was truly rewarding. My only discontent was the safari trip. It was expensive, wasn't too well organized and one of the other volunteers complained a lot. I think another week at the orphanage might have been better. Overall though I enjoyed my stay very much and I recommend this program to anyone.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Aug 1, 2010
Overall:
8
Support:
9
Value:
7

Original Volunteers

My friend and i have just returned from a 4week stay in ghana. whilst i was there i couldnt wait to write this review as before i left i found it hard to track down some up to date reviews. i was also worried about the lack of support i though i would get but has i was with a friend i felt i would have that support from her and as the woman in the office wernt as helpful or informative as i hoped. However when i got there 3 of us was picked up by the polite young man and we traveled back to the new volounteer house which had jus been newly rented out by fred and rebecca. fred and rebecca are the co odinators made us breakfast at there home gave us the opportunity to ask questions and told us about the projects. in the house we lived with 3 young ghanians rose who cooked richard and atta who just genrally looked out for us for the 1st week we didnt travel by ourself richard would come in a taxis etc with us and as we expected we built our confidence to travel alone (small groups) i was just very sad to think that maybe a few people would be put of by the orginal volunteers ghana projects becasue of the lack of support they advertise which is a shame as i couldnt have had any more support fred and rebecca we also around or on the other end of the phone and showed so much passion for what they do which is so encouraging. the country is just wonderful, the village that the volunteers house are in rural areas but markets are so close for food etc. there are lots to do in the weekends and if there enough of you its so cheap to travel by minibus if you can fill. it was the best time of my life and cant wait to return next year/ to if you are still thinking please go there they need us so much. Good luck!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 27, 2010
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Hi Rebecca, I am haviung exactly the same worries as you were I am supposed to be going to Ghana in January and am getting really nervous about the support that we will receive when we arrive. Did other people that were on the projects give you the same kind of feedback? I have been so excited but then people put doubt in my mind which makes me worry. I would be so grateful for any advice you can give me! Thanks, Jodie
We got to a understanding and the payments were made, it looks it was a misunderstanding as they usually only charge a small fee to participants and not the whole amount as they did to the ones coming to Costa Rica.
Hi Jodie, Not sure whether you have all ready been on your trip, if you have i hope you had a great time, If you haven't all ready been then....about other people give the same feed back i cant really say too much as their are 3 house in 3 different villages and we were lucky enough to be the first in a new house. But the people i was lucky to live with were so nice and just as excited and eager to be there as i was and a group of about 15 of use got on really well and travelled at the weekends together. Obviously there are 25people living in the same house so it does tests you patience having to share toilets that don't flush. one kitchen etc, but in a way it is just an experience that has way more positives then it does negatives. You get to meet so many different people when you stay people going home and arriving while your their, and in a weird kind of way because you so out of what we know as a normal life and habbits you build relationships quickly and really look out for eachother beasue it is such a diffrent environment to be in. I could go on about it for ever :-D i am going back next year and i cant wait, 3 people i met out there have been back since as well. I hope this has been useful. Rebecca

Global Crossroad

Traveling with Global Crossroads was a great experience. I volunteered at an orphanage and I also did the Language and Culture orientation week. This first week was so valuable. We had class in the morning where we talked about Ghanaian culture and studied Twi, and then in the afternoon we would go on trips around the area. We went to a pineapple farm, the beach, the market, Accra, a refugee camp, and a traditional shrine. It is a great way to see different sides of Ghana before you start volunteering. The volunteering was challenging, but fulfilling. The work was flexible, so we could adapt it to our schedule and abilities.
Richard and Franklin (the coordinators) are great and super helpful. Whenever we needed anything, they were there to help. If we wanted to learn about something specific, all we had to do was talk to Richard and he would either arrange a visit for us to a related site, or would spend time telling us all about it. Both coordinators were easy to get in touch with and were always genuinely concerned with how we were enjoying our time in Ghana.
The accommodations are rustic, but clean. We did not have running water, but there was always water in the tank for our use. I actually really liked living in a more rural area. You always feel safe and are able to interact more with your neighbors.
I would absolutely recommend traveling with Global Crossroad in Ghana.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 18, 2010
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
10

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

Great amazing experience and the team at IVHQ was excellent. For anyone wanting to experience this type of adventure I recommend this company. My trip to Ghana was a new experience for me and I was traveling as a solo traveler. But with the support of Jamie Lee and Eddie my trip was wonderful. I met a lot of other volunteers along my way and now feel part of special family that only other volunteers can understand. Do your research of other companies but if you are looking for great customer service and peace of mind I recommend IVHQ

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 14, 2010
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Hello Michael, I am going to Ghana on an IVHQ placement next week, also to Dodowa. Is there any specific advice you can offer me ? Appropriate clothes, what the children need, whether you taught at the orphanage or the school? This is my first trip with IVHQ, and so far they have been great.

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

Loved every moment. The children are the most wonderful and amazing kids I have ever met. They have nothing in life and yet seem to be so happy and contempt with everything they do. They have no fear and make the most out of everything in life. The locals were amazing too, they can never seem to do enough for you, always asking how you are and interested in your days events. Amazing. I worked on the Brown Programme in God's Eye Orphanage, with IVHQ (NZ) and it was the most awesome month of my life.
Recommend it to anyone. You have to experience it to understand how amazing Ghana is and the people that live there. A fantastic experience, never forgotten!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 13, 2010
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
10

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

I recently returned from Ghana (June 2010), where I traveled with IVHQ. This website was helpful as I was choosing an organization to go with, so I wanted to add my feedback for those who will follow.
I chose IVHQ after doing exhaustive Internet research as I needed to feel very assured that I was using a reputable company that would deliver what it promised and keep me safe. IVHQ did turn out to be an excellent choice. Outside of this website, I also searched the Internet with terms like "[name of organization]" and "reviews" or "complaints" or "scam" or "feedback." I would highly recommend that you also do your research before committing to any company. You'll likely find both good and bad feedback about most of them (it's worth scrutinizing whether this comes from legitimate sources or from employees of competing organizations), but I found that IVHQ got lots of good feedback and very little bad.
Also, IVHQ does have a facebook page with a huge discussion board where you can find feedback from LOTS of past volunteers. I made a very long post on the discussion board with some objective feedback, both pro and con, that may be helpful: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=18532434512&ref=search#!/topic.php...
Although I feel very comfortable recommending IVHQ, it is important to understand that IVHQ, or any organization like it, can only be as good as the local organization it places you with. Ghana has been my only volunteer experience and the local organization there (Volunteer Corps Organisation-Ghana) was outstanding. I can't speak for the organizations in other countries, however. I would recommend that you research the local organization that IVHQ would/will place you with. I got my organization's information through the IVHQ information packet and also by facebooking with past volunteers. (For those of you who may be like me and not understand how these volunteer organizations work, IVHQ is an international organization based in New Zealand whose work is to place you with a local volunteer organization in your chosen country. IVHQ is your primary point of contact while you are still at home, but once you arrive in country, your primary point of contact becomes your local organization. In Ghana, the local organization's work is to place you at one of several orphanages in the country, check up on you weekly or biweekly (depending on distance), be available via phone 24/7 while in country, and take care of you whenever you stay at the central volunteer house. Your day-to-day experience, however, will be more characterized by the particulars of your immediate site, so talking with return volunteers is recommended.)
As far as IVHQ's service went before leaving and after returning, I was very satisfied. E-mails came consistently and always told me what the next step would be, so I never had to wonder if things were moving along as they should. The one time when no correspondence was needed for awhile, IVHQ told me ahead of time that I wouldn't hear from them until a particular date. Even so, when I had questions during that wait time, they were always answered within 24 hours. Information manuals were thorough and well organized.
While I was in Ghana, IVHQ e-mailed me twice with a reminder that if anything was not satisfactory, they were there to help me resolve anything that couldn't be resolved through my local organization. A third e-mail acknowledged that I was almost finished and gave me wrap-up information.
To summarize, I don't hesitate to recommend IVHQ. There was no question that the money I paid was justified for the services I received (room, board, transportation, emergency support (which I needed), food support for the orphanage where I was placed, etc.), and IVHQ's overall cost definitely beat any other prices I saw.
This is a long post, but I hope it's comprehensive and helpful. I learned that choosing an organization is just the first step in a long preparation process, so hopefully, this post will help you make a decision so you can get on with the rest. Best of luck!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 6, 2010
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

this review is soooo much helpful. im doing the tiring internet researching now too, and your review let me know that HQ will be a good choice. thanks!
This was so informative. Thank you for sharing your opinnion - it's stirred a lot of questions in my mind that I'll contact IVHQ about. Thanks again!

Rustic Volunteer and Travel

I have just arrived home in the U.S. from my trip to Ghana. I was scheduled to be there longer, but I became very sick and realized I was too weak and ill to continue. Through Rustic I was provided non-stop care and support during my endeavor. Franklin and his partners were available when needed and made me feel very safe in a scary situation. It was not easy being so sick in a foreign country by yourself, yet they made me feel comfortable and loved. I would recommend anyone interested in traveling abroad to volunteer to use Rustic because their service and support from the staff surpassed all my expectations. Ghana was amazing, although I got sick, and I know I will return in the future.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 1, 2010
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
9

Rustic Volunteer and Travel

My daughter Taylor, wanted to travel specifically to the country of Ghana, to learn of the culture and work with children. She is a mere 17 years old, however, she told me she would either go this year or next on her 18th birthday. So we researched company's and because of the cost we chose Rustic.
From the very beginning Rustic was easy to work with. It started with Debbie who upon my request sent 3 or 4 email addresses for us to be in touch with other's who had used Rustic.
Debbie also has had children go through similar volunteer program's so she was able to offer up a multitude of suggestions, and ideas, and insight for a very worried mother.
I was in touch with Franklin the on-the-ground coordinator in Ghana for month's before Taylor's journey. Franklin was responsive and accommodating.
My daughter arrived safely and I was informed EVERY step of the way. Franklin told me he would furnish her with a travel phone and sure enough like clockwork she called from Ghana with the phone, Franklin then followed up with an email of her whereabouts.
The sad part of our story is that my daughter, Taylor, took ill. Of no one's fault. We believe it was the anti-Malaria medicine she was taking. And perhaps extreme dehydration. She forgot to pack a couple of medicines for her trip. She was very sick for the first 36 hours, which caused me great alarm, Debbie got everyone at Rustic involved. Franklin wrote and told me not to worry they would take her to the local hospital for care. She decided that she was too weak to continue the trip and cut it short, as she didn't want to go to the hospital. However, someone road the bus back to the airport with her, Franklin and his associates guided her every step of the way rented her a hotel near the airport retrieved her water, all while staying in constant touch with me back in the US.
Since then I have had several calls from folks in Ghana inquiring on my daughter's safe arrive home and her health.
I might add, Sara at Rustic learned that on her way home Taylor would be stopping in Washington DC for a layover and her mother who lives there offered to meet her at the plane if her health had gotten worse. This wasn't needed.
But let me say everyone at Rustic is a pleasure, I honestly can not say enough about them.
Taylor will be traveling again to Ghana next year and we will use Rustic no doubt.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 1, 2010
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
9

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

Nkwanta is an amazing place and my experience at God's Eye Orphanage and with IVHQ and Volunteer Corps was incredible. It was very well organized right from the moment I signed up, I was supported throughout the entire experience, all of my questions were answered thoroughly and promptly and I had the experience of a lifetime. I would definitely recommend IVHQ if you are interested in a great volunteer experience.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jun 15, 2010
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
10

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